Meeting with Irkutsk Region Governor Igor Kobzev

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At the beginning of the meeting, the President noted that there was a slight decline in the GDP in the country as a whole in 2022, while the Irkutsk Region recorded a growth of over 3 percent.

Igor Kobzev Kobzev Igor Kobzev IgorGovernor of Irkutsk Region reported that investment in fixed assets grew by 38 percent. Tax revenue went up to over 2 trillion rubles. But large-scale investment projects are the main point. Today, virtually all large state corporations are taking part in the development of the Irkutsk Region, which has great industrial potential. Today, its industrial production index is 102.1 percent. Salaries went up by 17 percent; funds were reserved to increase the minimum wage by 18 percent starting January 1, 2024.

The Governor pointed out 180 anchor investment projects valued at around 3 trillion rubles. They will create 40,000 additional jobs and increase the tax basis by 2 trillion rubles. Mr Kobzev told the President about the reconstruction of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant to manufacture the MC-21 airliner. The plant will produce six of them in 2024.

Another anchor project is the Eastern Operating Domain with Russian Railways, 33 facilities. The region is also cooperating with Gazprom: a joint funding agreement was signed totalling almost 26 billion rubles for both social and industrial gas distribution systems. The region is waiting for the construction of the Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline. It will provide the region’s enterprises with 17 billion cubic metres of gas. The region plans to convert heating sources to natural gas. Seven of its cities have joined the Pure Air federal project.

Vladimir Putin asked Mr Kobzev about the status of the labour market. The Governor reported that there were 35,000 job openings. The unemployment rate is 0.8 percent, or about 9,500 people.

The Governor said the region needs an inter-university campus, in part, for the aviation industry. The President suggested discussing this issue.

Igor Kobzev also gave the President a message from the military taking part in hostilities, which reads “We won’t let you down!” He added that 192 residents of the Irkutsk Region had been awarded state decorations – orders and medals. The youngest of them is Hero of Russia Private Eduard Dyakonov. He was killed in Mariupol in March 2022 when he covered a grenade with his body, saving his comrades.

The Governor said the region is working in seven areas in the context of the special military operation, including support to military personnel and their family members, rehabilitation for participants in the special military operation, humanitarian assistance, assistance to Kirovsk, a city under its patronage in the Lugansk People’s Republic, patriotic education of the youth, and support of defence industry enterprises. The region has established a centre to support families of military personnel and has opened a branch of the Defenders of the Fatherland State Fund. A building has been purchased for the rehabilitation centre for military veterans – there are about 16,000 of them in the region; around one billion rubles will be spent on its reconstruction.

At the President’s request, Mr Kobzev described the situation in medicine in general. He spoke about the efforts to draw focused medical specialists and paramedics to the region, the construction of a children’s regional clinical hospital – an important project, and the purchase of equipment for a paramedic centres under the regional healthcare modernisation programme.

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